MLB Baseball

0
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Texas0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 040
Oakland0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 x 150
1
  W: R. Alcantara (1-1)   L: M. González (8-12)   S: B. Treinen (11)
6:05 PM PT7:05 PM MT8:05 PM CT9:05 PM ET21:05 ET1:05 GMT9:05 6:05 PM MST8:05 PM EST8:35 PM VEN5:05 UAE (+1)8:05 PM CT, September 23, 2017
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, California  Attendance: 38,034

Rangers try to find an answer for A's in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Overconfidence was not a concern for Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister when his playoff contending team faced the last-place Oakland Athletics on Friday night for the first of seven times in their final 10 games.

After all, the Rangers had lost five straight games at Oakland Coliseum and suffered a three-game series sweep the last time they came to Oakland on Aug. 25-27.

Now the Rangers' losing streak at the Coliseum is six games after a 4-1 loss to the A's. They'll face the A's again Saturday night in the second game of the three-game series.

Texas (76-77) fell 3 1/2 games behind the Minnesota Twins, who defeated Detroit 7-3, for the second wild-card spot in the American League. The Rangers remained tied with the Los Angeles Angels.

"They lead the American League in the last two months in home runs," Banister said of the A's before Friday night's game. "They also lead the American League the last two months in strikeouts. They're a dangerous ballclub because we know a lot about some (players) and not much about others.

"They got a lot of guys on this team that are wanting to prove that they're big leaguers, that they belong here. They want to play. That's a recipe for a team coming in for it to be a challenge. That's why we've got to be on top of our game and play well."

A's rookie first baseman Matt Olson has certainly shown he belongs in the big leagues. He hit his 24th home run of the season in just his 57th game Friday night. Olson's two-run shot off Rangers right-hander Nick Martinez gave the A's a 2-0 lead and they never trailed.

The A's have matched a season high with five straight wins.

"We feel good about the way we're playing right now," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We're playing as good as we have all year at this point. And to do that means you're getting contributions from basically everybody, and we have."

The chance to play the role of spoilers against Texas provides extra motivation for the A's.

"It's more about the guys on our side just getting that experience and playing against a team that has something to play for," A's veteran second baseman Jed Lowrie. "Of course if you can make it a little harder on the guys trying to make it to the playoffs, that makes it just that much sweeter."

Rangers right-hander Miguel Gonzalez will make his fourth start since coming to Texas from the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 31 in a trade.

Gonzalez is 1-1 with a 10.45 ERA in three starts for Texas, but he's coming off his first win as a Ranger. He allowed one run and two hits in five innings in a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday. He struck out two and walked five.

"It was encouraging," Banister said of Gonzalez' last start. "I got to believe that coming over in a trade, fitting in with a new team, a new group of guys, there are some challenges inside of that, but it was encouraging. His stuff was sharp. It looked like the split-finger was back in play for him. That's something in the first two starts he didn't seem to have a feel for."

Gonzalez is 8-11 with a 4.75 ERA in 25 starts overall this season. He's 0-1 with a 4.82 ERA in four career games, including three starts, against Oakland. He'll face the A's for the first time since 2015 with the Baltimore Orioles.

A's left-hander Sean Manaea will make his 25th start and 26 appearance of the season. He's 11-10 with a 4.56 ERA overall but 1-3 with a 5.52 ERA in his past six starts.

Manaea bounced back Sunday at Philadelphia for his 11th win after getting rocked by the Red Sox at Fenway Park. He gave up seven runs and 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings in an 11-1 loss to Boston on Sept. 12 but held the Phillies to three runs and six hits in five innings of a 6-3 victory.

Manaea is 2-2 with a 4.76 ERA in six career starts against Texas. This season, he's 1-1 with a 6.10 ERA in two starts vs. the Rangers.

Updated September 23, 2017

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